Russia opens up banks to foreign investors

Other News Materials 21 December 2006 13:28 (UTC +04:00)

(Reuters) - Russia's parliament on Wednesday passed legislation that would put foreign and domestic investors on an equal footing when buying shares in Russian banks and make it easier for foreigners to gain exposure to the booming sector.

The new rules, passed by the lower house of parliament, would oblige residents and non-residents to inform regulators if they purchase more than a one percent stake in a Russian bank and seek permission to build a stake of more than 20 percent, reports Trend.

The rules will put an end to the practice of selling so-called "blessed" shares, which are cleared by the central bank for purchases by foreign investors, and put Russian banks on a radar screen of a wider circle of institutional investors.